Second Natural Gas Pipeline Explodes; That’s Two in Two Weeks

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A 30-inch natural gas pipeline owned by Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE: ETP) exploded in rural Missouri shortly before midnight on Thursday, the second gas pipeline explosion in as many weeks. The first occurred on November 14th near a small Texas town south of Dallas. That 10-inch pipeline is owned by Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and Atlas Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: APL). There were no injuries reported at either incident site.

The blast in Texas was caused when an excavation crew hit the Chevron pipeline. The entire town of Milford, Texas, was evacuated, and Chevron shut down the gas flow to the pipeline. It still took about 36 hours for the fire to burn itself out.

Last night’s explosion in Missouri happened about 75 miles east of Kansas City and set fire to barns, farm outbuildings, equipment, and hay bales according to a report from the AP. Panhandle Energy, the Energy Transfer subsidiary that operates the pipeline, rerouted the natural gas flow so that service was not interrupted. The Panhandle Eastern system includes some 6,500 miles of pipeline with a delivery capacity of 2.8 billion cubic feet per day from points in western Kansas, Oklahoma, and the Texas Panhandle to Chicago, Dayton, and Cincinnati.

Energy Transfer Equity LP (NYSE: ETE) acquired the Panhandle system in 2011 when it purchased the Southern Union Company. The assets of Southern Union were transferred to Energy Transfer Partners in a drop-down transaction in when the deal closed in 2012.

No cause has yet been determined for the Missouri explosion. The fire burned itself out about two-and-a-half hours after the gas flow was rerouted.